Ohio Budget Updates and How to Get Involved

After much deliberation, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a $63.7 billion, two-year state budget for 2018-19 which now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for testimony and hearings.

Though the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) faced drastic cuts for all new services, the voices of individuals and families in the developmentally disabled community were heard as some of the funding was added back.

Highlights of the DDD budget that was passed by the House last week:

  • Restores some new funding for waivers in FY19
  • No increase for ICF Rates
  • No increase to rate for ICF adults on ventilators
  • Removes the following prohibitions: New waiver slots, complex care add-on, DSP increased wages, restructuring of shared living rates

While this is good news for families and individuals with developmental disabilities, the fight is not over. There is still funding and services that may be added or taken away in the Senate.

“What is most important for families is to stay connected and up-to-date on the budget and process,” says Cindy Norwood, Executive Director of The Arc of Greater Cleveland. “We cannot stop speaking with our legislators until June 30, when the budget is finally approved and the House and Senate concur.”

Even more important, according to Norwood, is for legislators to meet families face to face. Regardless of party affiliation, developing a relationship with elected officials is critical, says Norwood.

“Our loved one will need and depend on public policy that promotes their wellbeing throughout their lifetime” she says. “As advocates, we need to include legislative advocacy as much as we do advocacy with doctors and educators.”

What you can do:

  • Contact your State Senator to let him/her know important these services are to you and your family
  • Contact members of the Ohio Senate Finance Committee to let them know you support the proposed executive budget and how important the proposed funding is for the services you and your family need

 


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